COPPERAS COVE, TX — Excitement and silly string filled the air as students and counselors at Clements/Parsons Elementary were nationally recognized by First lady Dr. Jill Biden and Military Child Education Coalition as the Student 2 Student (S2S) team of the year.
“It felt like time stopped almost,” said Clements/Parsons Elementary student Kelsey Tawney. “It was so amazing I was very surprised.”
“I was shocked at first, I didn’t know if I heard our name right,” said Clements/Parsons Elementary Student 2 School Program Lead Sponsor Audrey Trahan.
Clements/Parsons was one of three elementary schools nationwide to be named as a finalist.
The annual award is given to schools that excel in the Student-2-Student program, which brings military-connected and civilian students together to welcome incoming classmates.
“We help the new students make them feel welcome and make them feel like they already have a friend,” said Tawney.
“We made S2S encouragement bags. We stocked up with water and snacks for 3 to 5 students taking the STAAR test and wrote words of encouragement on each bag for every student to have personalized,” said Trahan.
Kelsey Tawney knows firsthand it can be tough when military kids move to a new school. It’s why she, Ajiya and others on their team work all year long to give new students tours around school, resources online and a shoulder to lean on.
“When a kid comes from a new school they are most likely to be nervous. It’s good to show them around the school and show them everything is going to be ok,” said Clements/Parsons Elementary Student Ajiya.
“Whenever I first got to the school, I thought that nobody would be my friend and it’s an honor to be an S2S,” said Tawney.
After receiving the award in the first year of their program Clements/Parsons is looking to do even more to help students this upcoming school year.
The award was also given to the top middle school and top high school as well as the top overall school.